I was very disappointed by the showing the Indianapolis Colts gave in their season-opener against the Houston Texans, losing 34-24. The is the second time in the last three years the Colts have lost in their season-openers. Last time, it came during a game against the Chicago Bears in the team’s first game inside Lucas Oil Stadium. It was a 29-13 loss.
Arian Foster was the big difference, as the Texans fooled the Colts big time on defense. Matt Schaub was expected to do a lot during this game, after leading the league in passing with 4,770 yards. But it was Foster who led the Texans on offense, rushing for 231 and having three touchdowns in the 34-24 victory.
With Foster’s stellar performance, the Texans have broke a six-game losing-streak to the Colts. The last time Houston got a win against Indianapolis was at home during the 2006-07 season, winning with a Kris Brown field goal in the closing seconds, 27-24. Houston now improves their record to 2-15 all-time against Indianapolis.
The Colts were held down big time in the second half for Houston’s waste of time of possession. But not only were they wasting time to keep Peyton Manning watching on the bench, but they also produced. At the end of the half, Indy was only down 13-10 and had ten unanswered points. But Houston drove down the field on the first drive in the second half, running all over Indianapolis for a 20-10 lead. It would be over from there.
Indy would manage to score in the final minute of the game, but it would be impossible to come back with them down ten. This time, there was no luck and there was no Sage Rosenfels to ruin the game either. This time, Houston finally got a win against Indy after losing by very close and small margins.
Foster, who was undrafted rookie, had all career-highs while also having 33 carries. Matt Schaub was nine-of-17 for 107 yards with one touchdown and an interception. This would all go down for a 67.5 rating. Steve Slaton ran for 29 yards on six carries. Andre Johnson caught three passes for 33 yards and Kevin Walter caught two passes for 29 yards along with a touchdown.
Peyton Manning also had career-highs, completing a career-high of 40 completions and 57 attempts. He was two pass attempts away from breaking the team record held by Jeff George. Manning would also pass for 433 yards along with three touchdowns. This would go down for a 109.8 rating.
Joseph Addai had a decent day, having ten carries for 44 yards, including a couple of rushes going well over ten yards, which we haven’t seen for a while. He also had 4.4 yards per carry. It’s also been a while since we’ve seen Addai run for at least four yards per carry.
Austin Collie caught ten passes for 131 yards along with a touchdown. Reggie Wayne caught seven passes for 99 yards and a touchdown. Pierre Garcon caught four passes for 75 yards.
The offensive game was pretty good, but they didn’t start clicking until after four straight three-and-outs. Along with what also killed Indianapolis was their lacking defensive play. They started off great in the beginning, having sacks from both Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney. They also had an interception made by Melvin Bullitt to start off the Colts’ first score of the game. But when the second half came, Indy’s defense was just dead.
Many mistakes came in the game, including on special teams. One game from a return by Devin Moore, as he also almost muffed it but took the ball back to the 15-yard-line. There was also another play where Pat McAfee punted and newly-acquired cornerback Justin Tryon recovered the ball right at the one-yard line. It was something to get excited about, but the ruling on the field said he ran out of bounds and came back into the field, so it didn’t count.
The big problem was just the run defense, which the Colts have been struggling with for over the past five years. Indy went deja-vu with about five minutes remaining, as Peyton Manning threw a touchdown pass to Dallas Clark to cut the lead to 27-17. The last time that score came up, the Texans would choke with a fumble or an interception. But this time, Houston answered with their rushing game, going up to a 34-17 lead. And from there, Manning threw a touchdown to Austin Collie.
A lot of things killed the Colts. There were many dropped passes made by Pierre Garcon. After three or four straight plays Garcon couldn’t catch the ball where it was catchable, Manning lost faith and hope in him. But Garcon paid Manning back, catching a long, one-handed, acrobatic catch near the end zone. The drive there, however, would only result in a field goal.
There were also times where the Colts wasted time-outs and had stupid penalties, also with some of the blame towards their defense. They left Kevin Walter wide-open, but Kelvin Hayden marched up, only just to be called for an obvious pass-interference which would set up a field goal for the Texans. Then there was another time they left Walter open, only for him just to score a touchdown to build a 13-0 lead. Indy never led or tied the game once in here.
Another time came when Manning was switching up the plays. He wasted a time-out when the clock was ticking down to the final seconds because of left tackle, Charlie Johnson, who didn’t know what was going on as he was completely confused. Why? He missed a lot of training camp time. Maybe Indianapolis should have kept Tony Ugoh just in case. Another time came when Johnson was confused again, along with a pair of other offensive lineman. Manning tried to call a time-out there, but it was too late. Delay of game.
These are just one of those games, as a Colts fan, where you just need to be pissed off about. The Colts couldn’t click. I could name a bunch of other mistakes in the game, but there are too many swirling around in my head. Indy just needs to get ready for the New York Giants next week, where it will be the second time Peyton Manning and Eli Manning battle for The Manning Bowl.
Don’t worry Colts’ fans. It’s just Week One. Nothing to worry about. So what if Indy is 0-1, who cares? Let them have their fun, and Indy will get them back in Lucas Oil Stadium in Week Eight.
I guarantee it will not be a struggling year like what happened in the 2008-09 season. Indy will get themselves clicking next week when they’re at home. Anyways, other teams were in these situations and had success.
Look at the 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers. They barely beat a terrible Oakland Raiders team, 24-21. Then they lost, 30-13, to the Baltimore Ravens the next week. They would be 1-1 with not a lot of high hopes and with a young quarterback there, too. But they would go on a 14-0 winning-streak and finish 15-1 that season. How can we not say that can happen to the Colts?
I still have them as my vote for the Super Bowl. Nothing to worry about. 0-1, whatever. Let’s prove the naysayers wrong.
Indianapolis will fix themselves.
I know they will.